This morning, while getting ready for work, I had ‘Lies My Parents Told Me’ on in the background. I wasn’t paying too much attention, yet, something occured to me . I know we’ve all debated as to whether Spike’s realization at the end was the truth that his mother did love him or if he was simply deluding himself. But, before I get to my revelation, a few observations….
Mother: I feel extraordinary. It's as though I've been given new eyes. I see everything. Understand... (looks at William, frowns) everything.
Spike: See, like you, I loved my mother. So much so I turned her into a vampire... (nods) so we could be together forever. She said some nasty bits to me after I did that. Been weighing on me for quite some time. (points at Robin) But you helped me figure something out. You see, unlike you, I had a mother who loved me back. When I sired her, I set loose a demon, and it tore into me, but it was the demon talking, not her. (stands) I realize that now. (walks toward the computer) My mother loved me with all her heart. I was her world. (clicks the mouse, playing the recording again)
I’ve always agreed, to an extent, with Spike’s belief that his mother truly loved him. I also believe the woman carried around a lot of anger and resentment buried underneath her Victorian sensibilities and it was unleashed by the demon. Viewing herself through the demon’s eyes she sees, for the first time, many unexpressed feelings and, stripped of her inhibtions and control, they come flooding out. She was a woman unhappy with her life and suddenly free to express that. William was the convenient and easy target of her rage.
Perhaps given the Oedipal issues prevalent in the scene, we were to interpret her ‘understanding’ as being in regards to some sexual desire she perceived William/Spike having for her. (And, gee, ME never tries to mislead us. :p) In reality, I think her “understand…everything” is in reference to herself and how she allowed her relationship with William to form. Until her turning she was unable or unwilling to see how her life and feelings had been suppressed. As Spike would say, it’s a bloody revelation for her.
Wood: You took my childhood. (punches at Spike) You took her away. (punches Spike again, but Spike pushes him off) She was all I had. She was my world.
“She was all I had. She was my world.” Heh. Seems Spike and Wood have more in common than either is willing to admit. Both allowing their pasts - their fears and anger - to control their present. Spike doesn’t feel any guilt for taking Nikki away from Wood (she was a Slayer, he was a vampire, they fight - it’s what they do, and only one is going to walk away). Yet, it’s Spike's guilt over his own mother’s demise that enables him to be controlled by the First.
Anyway, this all sort of brings me to my point. It occured to me that it doesn’t really matter whether Spike’s mother did or did not love him. What was important is that Spike face his past and come to *a* conclusion whether it is the correct one or not. As long as he believes it to be true, as long as it brings him some peace, it’s the last peace in the puzzle that gives him his free will back.
On a side note, as I was perusing the script online for some references, I came across an interesting notation….
Spike walks out of the shed, putting on his leather jacket. Buffy runs up to the shed just as he's walking away. Her face appears tear-streaked, but she's not crying now.
I can’t recall, is Buffy’s face tear-streaked as she approaches Spike? It wasn't overly apparent if it was. I find this script direction fascinating because it provides further evidence of her depth of feeling for Spike. Unless someone wants to argue she was crying because she feared Wood may be dead? Anyone? I thought not. :)